How to Make Communicating Easier for an Older Adult with Parkinson’s

By 9  am 0n


If you have a senior loved one who lives with Parkinson’s disease, you likely understand the challenges he or she faces on a daily basis. However, perhaps none of these challenges are as frustrating as the inability to communicate with friends and family. Here, you’ll learn the causes behind Parkinson’s-related communication issues and what you can do to help your loved one. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of elderly home care families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


Causes of Speech Issues

There are a number of reasons a senior with Parkinson’s may have difficulty communicating. These include cognitive as well as physical limitations, such as: 

  • Inability to remember which words to use – Sometimes, people with Parkinson’s are simply unable to put together or understand complex sentences.
  • Difficulty understanding emotions and gestures – This can make it difficult for individuals with Parkinson’s to understand the context of a conversation.
  • Speech and voice challenges – It’s estimated that 90 percent of those with Parkinson’s will experience voice changes or a complete inability to speak at some point in their lives.
  • Inability to speak while performing other tasks – Cognitive limitations may make it difficult for a senior with Parkinson’s to talk or carry on a conversation while attempting to walk or perform other simple everyday tasks.

If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Miami, FL, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. Our home caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.


Providing the Right Kind of Help

There’s no standard speech therapy that fits every senior with Parkinson’s. This is where you and your loved one’s caregiver may need to be creative and keep trying until you find an approach that seems to work for your loved one. Some things that can make communication easier include: 

  • Providing gentle cues if it seems as if your loved one is unable to remember a word or phrase that completes his or her thought
  • Explaining emotions and gestures when necessary and exaggerating facial expressions and gestures so they’re more easily recognizable
  • Working with a speech therapist who specializes in treating people with Parkinson’s. These individuals use specific tools and therapies to help seniors regain control of the muscles used for speech.
  • Practicing speech while performing other tasks. Oftentimes, repeating a sentence or two while walking, washing dishes, or performing some other task can be therapeutic.

When seniors develop Parkinson’s disease, their families aren’t always able to provide the care they need and deserve. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Miami families can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. Whether your parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour care, give us a call today.